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ELPS 550 - Educational Leadership Group Coaching


This course is available to participants who have completed or are completing requirements of the principal and/or administrator (superintendent/district-level) license, and/or Master’s, Educational Specialist, or Doctorate in an Educational Leadership or related program. Individuals who occupy school or district-level administrative positions are eligible for this course as well. Based on licensure and degree work, participants must currently hold a leadership position in an educational organization. The course enables participants to engage in problem solving and skill development through a coaching model. Participants focus on leadership issues associated with their current position such tasks as the management of educational change, systems analysis, information systems, human resource development, resource planning, and /or operations in educational agencies. Thus, the course differs from the practicum (ELPS 695) or the internship (ELPS 606) as participants are working on skill development related to their current role and not focusing solely on the development of an individual project or activities across the spectrum of state standards for principals or administrators.

The setting for the coaching (e.g., a school system or governmental agency) is the participant’s current school, district, or organization.  The selection of particular tasks or issues to engage in the coaching experience will be identified through discussions between the participants and the coach.

Participants enrolled in the educational leadership coaching meet with their coach to share their individual coaching plans early in the semester, make at least one progress report, and discuss concerns/challenges during the semester, and culminate their work in the coaching through their final reflection and/or an exit interview with the coach.


The coaching provides opportunities for participants to do the following:

  1. Develop a learning plan with goals for coaching sessions. (See page 4.)
  2. Engage in small group coaching to further their understanding of issues facing a school system, governmental agency, or other educational program.
  3. Gain insights into diverse issues faced by educational leaders in different settings.


During the course, each participant will do the following:

  1. Identify goals and/or issue(s) to be directly engaged in or studied through the coaching sessions.
  2. Engage directly in the coaching sessions and follow up activities related to the coaching goals.
  3. Submit a mid-semester progress report to the coach.
  4. Write a final report of the experience/study and/or have an exit interview with the coach.


Week 1 Orientation Meeting
Week 2 Coaching Goals and Objectives/ Learning Plan Due
Week 3-15

Coaching Sessions

  • minimum: monthly (4 sessions) 2 credits
  • maximum: bi-weekly (8 sessions) 3 credits
Week 8

Mid-Semester Reflection (e.g., reflective writing, artifact(s), etc.)

Touchpoint: consider whether coaching continues to next semester

Week 15 Final Reflection/ Written or Oral Exit Interview


Participants study educational leadership at UNC are exposed to five domains in which they: (1) develop a personal vision for educational leadership; (2) examine and use modes of inquiry to help them frame problems and gather information; (3) understand organizational culture, communication, and change; (4) explore educational leaders' roles in supervising professionals and developing human potential; and (5) examine influences from the external environment that shape educational policies, structures, and operations.  Learning experiences of this course contribute directly to participants' understanding of the underlying beliefs of our leadership development program listed below:

      • Human growth and development are lifelong pursuits;
      • Organizations are artifacts of a larger society;
      • Learning, teaching, and collegiality are fundamental activities of educational organizations;
      • Validated knowledge and active inquiry form the basis of practice;
      • Moral and ethical imperatives drive leadership behavior;
      • Leadership encompasses a learned set of knowledge, skills, and attitudes;
      • Effective leadership in educational organizations depends on individual and group effort;
      • Leaders effect positive change in individuals and organizations; and
      • Leaders' behavior and actions model their beliefs and values.


In general, the courses of this program are designed to prepare and support individuals to serve as leaders of educational organizations. The learning experiences are designed to address the skills, competencies, and performance expectations identified by numerous professional organizations and learned societies with an interest in the preparation of educational leaders. Among the organizations consulted are the American Association of School Administrators, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Middle School Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Policy Board for Educational Administration, and the University Council for Educational Administration.


Learning activities of this course address the licensure standards for principals and administrators established by the Colorado Department of Education and the State Board of Education.  A list of the specific standards addressed can be found on this website.


See policies, statements, and resources here.

Individualized Learning Plan

As an adult learner, it is natural to be self-directed toward a desired goal, whether that is the acquisition of particular knowledge, skills, or a position which requires particular knowledge and skills. You have the opportunity to develop your leadership knowledge and skills within your current setting and context.  The plan that you will create for coaching will outline the objectives, your responsibilities in the process, as well as your instructor’s.

Step 1. Develop two-three goals and objectives for coaching this semester.

Step 2. Outline any learning resources and strategies that you will use to meet the objectives you have developed.

Step 3. Develop a timeline for accomplishment of your objectives, as well as progress report and a final exit interview with the coach.

Possible resources that may be used in this coaching experience:

  • Teachers/Facilitators
  • Other Learners
  • Work Supervisors
  • Subject Matter Experts
  • Books
  • Journal and Magazine Articles
  • Other Printed Materials
  • Audio and video tapes
  • Websites, Blogs, and Podcasts

Possible strategies that may be used include the following:

  • Cognitive Coaching
  • Consultancy protocols
  • Reflective protocols
  • Reflective journaling                                                       
  • Observations and written reflection                                                                        
  • Peer coaching                            
  • Professional development implementation
  • Development of site or organization-based resources                                     
  • Action research project                         

Participants are advised to share their individualized plan with one or two colleagues or supervisors for additional feedback.